The British DMG radio group has a very successful track record in this country, especially with its Nova chain of stations aimed at mainly young male listeners.

But does it really understand what older listeners want as it moves towards flicking the switch next Monday in Sydney on its new Vega network for older listeners? According to DMG chairman, Paul Thompson, we older listeners were “advertisement tolerant,” which means there will be up to seven advertisements in a row. Listeners to the Nova chain are not so tolerant and get only two ads in a row (see yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald report here). This is an interesting justification for trying to rip as much money as possible out of the market.

But will listeners switch from the advertisement-free, talk-heavy ABC local radio station 702, to Vega? I doubt it – most people listen to the ABC because there are no ads. Some listeners will follow Angela Catterns, but most will stay loyal to the ABC. It’s more likely that listeners will flow from commercial AM stations to Vega because their listeners are already “advertisement tolerant.”

Peter Fray

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